Hot Local Band Stays in Step
"Our first competition is the last weekend in September, and so we basically have two months," explained Ellen Matheny, drum major. "And this is the biggest block of time that we can have before school starts."
The practice is intense and so is the heat, so it's hard to concentrate on the show.
"When you're sweating, and the sweat's dripping in your eye, it's really hard to think about your posture or your foot technique," said Melissa Fagan.
But, band leaders are taking extra care to make sure no one suffers from the heat. There's plenty of water and, during the hottest part of the day, band members move into the shade or indoors.
"So many of them have such a positive attitude," said Fagan. "And some of the upperclassmen, we've had band camps where it's been cooler, so for us it's probably harder."
However, hard work in the heat will pay off.
"Once you get into competitions and once you get into games," she said, "you don't even think about all the sweat you poured out onto the turf."
Hickman High hasn't had any problems other than a few cases of mild heat sickness. Other schools also are revving up their marching bands this week, so they're ready to strut their stuff during fall football games and competitions.